- Nearly two-thirds (64%) of Basotho see gender-based violence (GBV) as the most important women’s-rights issue that the government and society must address (Figure 1).
- A majority (53%) of citizens say violence against women is a “somewhat common” (28%) or “very common” (25%) occurrence in their community (Figure 2).
- More than eight in 10 Basotho (85%) say it is “never” justified for a man to physically discipline his wife. Fewer than two in 10 think it is “sometimes” (11%) or “always” (4%) justified (Figure 3).
- Almost six in 10 respondents (56%) consider it “somewhat likely” (29%) or “very likely” (27%) that a woman will be criticised, harassed, or shamed if she reports gender- based violence to the authorities (Figure 4).
- A slim majority (53%) of Basotho say domestic violence should be treated as a criminal matter rather than as a private matter to be resolved within the family (Figure 6).
Gender-based violence is the most important women’s-rights issue that Basotho want the government and society to address, many citing it as a common problem in homes and communities, according to the latest Afrobarometer survey.
A majority of citizens say it is never justified for men to use physical force to discipline their wives, and most say gender-based violence is a criminal matter that requires the involvement of law enforcement authorities, rather than a personal affair that should be handled within the family.
But while most Basotho believe that the police take gender-based violence seriously, many say a woman is likely to be criticised, harassed, or shamed if she reports such violence to the authorities.